Previous military pilots and their later fatal civil aviation accidents

Tanja Laukkala, Eero Pukkala, Bruce Budowle, Antti Sajantila, Matti Mäntysaari, Heini Huhtala, Alpo Vuorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Military pilots undergo rigorous selection compared with civilian professional pilots because of different operational requirements. There are no studies of military pilots’ subsequent civil aviation careers and fatal pilot aviation accidents. This study focuses on Vietnam War (VW) pilots and subsequent fatal aviation accidents in the U.S from 1965 to 2018. In total nine aviation accidents met the inclusion criteria and are described in detail, including the pilots’ previous civil aviation incidents. The VW pilots were healthy, had valid Medicals and continued to fly in demanding pilot positions after their military careers. Although the data are limited, this study suggests that previous military pilots may differ slightly from other pilots in their subsequent civil aviation careers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-186
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - 29 Sep 2021


  • Accident investigation
  • Aviation
  • Military
  • Pilot
  • Safety management


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